ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 96-831

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Ottawa, 23 December 1996
Decision CRTC 96-831
Rogers Cablesystems Limited
Metropolitan Toronto and Downsview, Ontario - 951107200
Licence renewal
Following Public Notice CRTC 1996-97 dated 10 July 1996 and Decision CRTC 96-522 dated 27 August 1996, the Commission renews the Class 1 licence held by Rogers Cablesystems Limited (Rogers), for the cable distribution undertaking serving Metropolitan Toronto and Downsview, from 1 January 1997 to 31 August 2002.
The licence term granted herein, while less than the maximum of seven years permitted by the Broadcasting Act, will enable the Commission to consider the next licence renewal of this undertaking in accordance with the Commission's regional plan and to better distribute the workload within the Commission. The term is not reflective of any Commission concern regarding the licensee's performance.
The operation of this undertaking is regulated pursuant to Parts I, II and IV of the Cable Television Regulations, 1986 (the regulations) and the licence will be subject to the conditions in effect under the current licence, as well as to those conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.
In its renewal application, the licensee requested relief from the requirement of section 9 of the regulations to distribute the programming service of CKVR-TV Barrie, on the basic band. An intervention was submitted by CHUM Limited, licensee of CKVR-TV, requesting that the Commission "recognize the importance of channel distribution within a specific area and instruct the Metropolitan Toronto cable licensees to continue to distribute CKVR-TV on channel 20". In response, Rogers suggested that a Commission action so instructing licensees is contrary to the Commission's access policy (Public Notice CRTC 1996-60) and noted that it has endeavoured to achieve common placement in Toronto whenever possible.
The Commission notes that, in the access policy, it concluded that channel placement issues "should properly be the subject of negotiation between the parties concerned" and that, generally, it would not be prepared to apply its dispute resolution powers in such matters. Accordingly, the Commission considers that it would be inappropriate for it to direct Rogers to continue to distribute CKVR-TV on channel 20 as requested by the intervener. However, the Commission notes Rogers' reply that it endeavours to achieve common channel placement whenever possible and encourages it, in the interests of subscribers, to continue to distribute the intervener's service in its current position. The Commission therefore approves the licensee's request to be relieved, by condition of licence, of the requirement of section 9 of the regulations that it distribute CKVR-TV Barrie on the basic band, so long as the service is distributed as part of the basic service.
Consistent with Decision CRTC 91-453 dated 11 July 1991, by condition of licence, the licensee is relieved of the requirement of section 12 of the regulations to distribute the signal of CHCH-TV Hamilton on an unrestricted channel. Should the quality of the signal deteriorate significantly, the Commission expects the licensee to undertake immediate corrective action including, if necessary, the distribution of the service on another channel.
Consistent with Decision CRTC 95-12 dated 18 January 1995, the licensee is authorized, by condition of licence, to insert, at its option, certain promotional material as a substitute for the "local availabilities" (i.e. non-Canadian advertising material) of non-Canadian satellite services. At least 75% of these local availabilities must be made available for use by licensed Canadian programming services for the promotion of their respective services, for the promotion of the community channel and for unpaid Canadian public service announcements. A maximum of 25% of the local availabilities may be made available for the promotion of discretionary programming services and packages, customer service information, channel realignments, cable FM service and additional cable outlets.
The Commission reaffirms the particular importance it attaches to the development of community programming and has taken note of the licensee's expenses in the last year and of the annual budgets that will be allocated for community programming during the new licence term. The Commission commends the licensee for its efforts and encourages it to continue to develop programs that reflect community interests and concerns.
Based on the Commission's analysis of information submitted by the licensee, it appears that the licensee has made a positive commitment to Employment Equity through its active involvement in various initiatives that will ensure equitable employment in the organization and the Commission encourages the licensee to continue its efforts in this regard.
This decision is to be appended to the licence.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General

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